Stonewall Just Became a National Monument

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From once-in-a-lifetime vacations to revolutionary apps, America has been doing a lot to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its national parks. The National Park Service has been celebrating its birthday itself as well, with the newly formed Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks pledging earlier this year that it will lead a $350 million fundraising campaign to help preserve the country’s monuments and parks for another hundred years.

On June 24th, coinciding with both LGBT pride month and president Obama’s designation of New York City’s Stonewall Inn as the first national monument dedicated to LGBT rights, the National Park Foundation announced that it will commit $2 million of its proposed $350 million to help launch the new park. The foundation, which has already launched a fundraising page for those interested in donating, plans to work with local groups, national organizations and the surrounding community to help create and support the park.

The money is meant to contribute to some of the crucial needs of any new national park or monument—paying ranger salaries, adding exhibits and constructing a visitor center, for example—as well as to needs specific to the memorial, such as outreach to the LGBTQ community.

The memorial, located in the city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, is said to encompass both the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park, which surrounds the historic structure. The inn’s significance dates back to a June 28, 1969 occurrence in which police raided the building—a gay bar at the time—and arrested several patrons.

After the raid, the community rose up against the incident and formed the first American gay and lesbian rights march at Christopher Park the following month. The march is often considered to be the start of the LGBT rights movement in the U.S.

Dillon Thompson is a travel intern with Paste and a student at the University of Georgia.

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